Lecturing in Vienna in 1999, Nick Cave outlined his theory on the nature of the love song. ‘Within the fabric of the Love Song … one must sense an acknowledgement of its capacity for suffering.’ Unless pain and longing simmer beneath the surface of the music, it isn’t a love song at all. What Lorca referred to as ‘duende’ and Cave himself calls ‘an inexplicable sadness’ at the heart of the love song is evidenced in even the most cursory sampling of his oeuvre. From the despairing lilt of ‘Where Do We Go Now but Nowhere’ to the apocalyptic cheer of ‘Straight to You’, the darkness and desperation of love are constants in his work.
The Art of Nick Cave
THE ART OF NICK CAVE: NEW CRITICAL ESSAYS
edited by John H. Baker
Intellect (Footprint), $59.95 pb, 288 pp, 9781841506272
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